WASHINGTON – They’ve been waiting 17 years for their big debut. Now, noisy Brood II cicadas are popping out of the ground in parts of the D.C. region and they’ll keep it up for the next few days.
ABC 7 Meteorologist Lauryn Ricketts expects the heat wave will get the insects moving.
“We will see more patches of them emerge this week,” she says.
Ricketts says if you haven’t seen cicadas at your house this year and don’t see them this week, you probably won’t see them at all this year.
Some parts of the area have seen large numbers of the big bugs, while in other parts there are none.
“We’re getting a lot of reports south of the D.C. area,” she says. “A lot of reports in Manassas, Prince William County, even going down toward Stafford (and) Fredericksburg.”
I started hearing them in woods near my house in Calvert County, Md., a few days ago.
But when I went looking, all I found were the skins they left behind, attached to the undersides of leaves.
If you hear the insects at your house but don’t see them, it’s because they’re already in the trees.
“They really come out of the soil to mate. That’s exactly what they do, and they move up the trees. When they’re moving up the trees the females will lay eggs,” says Ricketts.
“They’ll make slits in the tree branches and that’s where they’ll lay their eggs. So that’s why they’re traveling up the trees, because they’re getting to the smallest portion of the branch.”
By the way, the males do all that singing to attract a mate.
To celebrate the cicada invasion along the East Coast, many chefs are whipping up cicada recipes. But Ricketts prefers to study cicadas, not eat them.
“I don’t care how much chocolate you put on a cicada, I’m probably not going to go for it.”
Ricketts has a blog about cicadas.
You also can check this ground temperature map indicating when cicadas are likely to emerge.
Watch the video below to see some of the cicada remnants WTOP’s Michelle Basch encountered.
Follow @WTOP on Twitter.